OK, so it was officially too hot for a middle-aged woman to take a walk outdoors this morning (Monday), even if she stuck to the shade and grabbed an iced tea along the way. When I left the station at 9:30 it was somewhere above 70F. An hour later it was 84 and feeling very steamy. Very summer-y.
There are a couple of upside notes to make.
A: the air is full of evocative scent on a hot humid day. Just now, the spruce trees are going mad with a sweet, resin-y fragrance. The scent of roses and peonies is everywhere, though I couldn’t spot a rosebush or a peony along my route. A little ditch smells like frogs and fresh water. Even fresh blacktop takes me back to a particular summer when I had a new bike and all the roads around my house got a new surface.
And B: wild strawberries are in. Catching my breath under the last spruce tree before the last leg across the parking lot, l looked down and, maybe because the lawn is kept so closely trimmed here, I also caught the first glimpse of ripe berries. I’ll be checking my own yard, where there’s a big patch of lawn I’ve avoided for the last couple of mowing.
Sandy Demarest reminded me of her recipe for “Nana’s Strawberry Shortcake” in our book, Stories, Food, Life. It back to when she was a little girl and it looks like the key ingredients were Sandy, her five sisters, and their berry pails. It’s on page 52.